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- 02/25/15--10:00: _Today's Special - F...
- 02/27/15--11:23: _Just Opened - Febru...
- 03/04/15--08:36: _Ivan Ilic & Feldman...
- 03/16/15--10:08: _Just Opened - March...
- 03/16/15--10:40: _"Courtly Love and T...
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- 05/08/15--08:33: _Just Opened - May 8...
- 05/18/15--13:38: _Just Opened - May 1...
- 05/22/15--10:11: _May 22, 2015 - Just...
- 05/28/15--11:43: _The Romantic Sensib...
- 06/05/15--11:27: _Just Opened - Playl...
- 06/12/15--13:23: _JUST OPENED - Frida...
- 06/19/15--11:18: _Just Opened June 19...
- 06/26/15--12:35: _Just Opened - June ...
- 02/25/15--10:00: Today's Special - February 25th, 2015
- 02/27/15--11:23: Just Opened - February 27, 2015
- 03/04/15--08:36: Ivan Ilic & Feldman's "Le Palais de Mari"
- 03/16/15--10:08: Just Opened - March 13th, 2015
- 03/16/15--10:40: "Courtly Love and The Cult of The Virgin" Resources
- 03/20/15--09:46: Just Opened - March 20th, 2015
- 03/27/15--10:12: Just Opened - March 27th, 2015
- 04/03/15--10:10: Just Opened - April 3rd, 2015 - Musicologists & Arrangers
- 04/10/15--13:09: Just Opened - April 10th, 2015
- 04/17/15--10:19: Just Opened - April 17th, 2015 - Composer Compendium
- 04/23/15--09:35: Just Opened - April 24, 2015 - Strong Music by Strong Women
- 05/01/15--11:31: Just Opened - May 1st, 2015
- 05/08/15--08:33: Just Opened - May 8th Bartok, Banjos, Beethoven & More
- 05/18/15--13:38: Just Opened - May 15, 2015 - Timeless Romanticism
- 05/22/15--10:11: May 22, 2015 - Just Opened - Shakespearean Dramatics
- 05/28/15--11:43: The Romantic Sensibility - Just Opened - May 29, 2015
- 06/05/15--11:27: Just Opened - Playlist basics Old & New
- 06/12/15--13:23: JUST OPENED - Friday June 12, 2015 - Kings of Music
- 06/19/15--11:18: Just Opened June 19, 2015
- 06/26/15--12:35: Just Opened - June 26, 2015
This morning, during "You Asked for It!" we added a new release as we wrap up our musical celebration of Black History Month. This new Steinway and Sons release features beautiful concert transcriptions of songs that were made famous by Billie Holiday.
Lara Downes is a Steinway Artist who recently released another CD with cellist Zuill Bailey focusing on works by American Composers. All of these songs, so closely connected to the career and life of Lady Day - who has been called a social phenomenon of her day - have all been arranged by Composer Jed Distler took his cue from Downes, who wanted these arrangements to reflect the full mutifaceted complextiy of American music from blended cultures.
Today we have a mix of chamber works and orchestral scores for film. For quite a few years now, I've been mentioning the relatively small number of orchestral works that we have released. It's about 3 orchestral releases (including the new, a-melodic composers) for every 20 solo piano releases, then there are the vocal recital releases, mostly sopranos, then come the individual instrumentalist recital releases, and the chamber releases only slightly outnumber the orchestral releases. So we're dipping back a bit for a CD that is not new, but ought to refresh some fond musical and visual memories, music from 3 major Merchant Ivory films, and a new release that features a work that was the major part of a French film from the same time period.
THE E.M. FORSTER TRILOGY
Original Film Recordings
Music by Richard Robbins
ANGEL/EMI 28956 (3CD set)
ISBN# 7 2438 28956 2 6
For more info. on Merchant Ivory films
Released back in 1994, the film scores to these 3 Merchant Ivory films help explain their box office success. These scores included performances by renowned groups. The Maurice score including a performance of Allegri's "Miserere" performed by King's Choir Cambridge, and of course, the soundtrack to A Room With A View featured Puccini arias sung by Kiri Te Kanawa (which she recently reprised as a high profile bit player on "Downton Abbey.")
Chamber Music IV
St. Louis Chamber Players
Official website of Harbach
Another in the continuing series of recordings of the Chamber Works of living composer Barbara Harbach. This set includes a 3 song cycle (lyrics for 2 parts by Harbach) in the voice of Harriett Scott (of the Dred-Scott renown), and the 3rd song's lyrics in the words of Harriett Tubman. Other works on this CD are "Incanta" for chamber ensemble, and a work for brass entitled "The Sounds of St. Louis." Harbach holds degrees from multiple instutions including The Eastman School of Music, Yale, and a conservatory in Frankfurt. She initiated "Women in the Arts" a celebration of women creators, and she has toured extensively as a concert organist and harpsichordist, as well as being involved in the research, editing and publication of music by keyboard composers of the 1700s.
Ravel & Chausson
ISBN# 0 90404 94402 4
Official website of Trio Solisti
My Delight of the Week! The critical raves for this trio of soloists speak eloquently. The New Yorker hailed them as "the most exciting piano trio in America, with a performance style that includes exceptional virtuosity with penetrating musical insight." Strad Magazine wrote of their "glorious music with rare commitment and insight." The Wall Street Journal critic proclaimed them to "succeed the Beaux Arts Trio as the outstanding chambermusic ensemble of its king." This CD features a pairing of two major trios by Ravel and Chausson. The Ravel work - sometimes challenging, often hauntingly beautiful in its resolution of dissonances and it's syncopations - may be familiar to many as one of the Ravel works used in the 1992 French film "Un Coeur en Hiver."
Join us next week, for more new releases (and releases new to us) on Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
This morning on "You Asked for It" we featured a 1986 work by Morton Feldman called "Le Palais de Mari." It is featured on Ivan Ilic's recent highly praised release "The Transcendentalist." Ivan Ilic basically asked for this himself, by highlighting the piece in a recent interview.
Ivan Ilic, piano
Heresy CD #015
ISBN# 5 060268 640443
In addition to being an acclaimed piano performer, Ilic is a frequently published writer about music, about musical research, and a deeply thoughtful person who is fascinating to interview (you can find my interview of him under "Classical Chat").
In this interview, he expresses his opinion that this particular work by Feldman will become an essential work for pianists, and he also discusses many other concepts regarding performance and recording of great piano works. Another fascinating interview (on a well known piano blog website): http://www.crosseyedpianist.com/2015/02/20/meet-the-artist-ivan-ilic-pianist/
As we continue our recognition of Women's History Month, we have a variety of new releases featuring women, and dance music releases.
THE BOOK OF ESTHER:
The Journey of Queen Vashti & Queen Esther
David Homan, composer
Homan's Official Website
ISBN# 8 88295 13969 4
Here are two riveting, accessible new chamber works for Ballet which premiered at the Alvin Ailey Dance Company in 2014. The Ariel Rivka Dance company, led by choregrapher Ariel Grossman
and composer David Homan, devised these new ballets of "female empowerment" based on Biblical texts. They are written for an interesting chamber ensemble of piano, guitar, violin, clarinet, and cello. The set that was sent to our station included a CD of the music, and a DVD of the ballets. I'm finding the CD/DVD set difficult to locate online for purchase - your best bet is to contact them through their websites (listed above).
Paris Conservatoire Connections for Flute & Piano
Francesca Arnone, flute
Terry Lynn Hudson, piano
Arnone's Official Website
More info on Hudson
ISBN# 6 81585 14312 4
My Delight of the Week. This CD of works by mostly modern era composers, works composed for the Paris Conservatory, are a genuine surprise of accessibility and melody. Koechlin and Roussel are perhaps the best known composer names on the CD. Both are known for a sparkling sound in their orchestral works, and so the flute suits their musical voice; but the lesser known composers delight as well. If you play and/or teach the flute, this is a natural pick, and a great encouraging gift for young flautists... but this will be an interesting, unusual, and appreciated gift for many music lovers who just might not have a flute and piano CD on their radar.
Spirit & Romance
Anna Shelest, piano
Shelest's Official Website
SC CD 001
ISBN# 8 88295 06021 9
In a crowed field of breathtakingly talented young pianists, Anna Shelest has been hailed as "the Franz Liszt of today." She has won competitions, performed at Carnegie Hall, and this CD is a major recognition in itself. A new record label, Sorel Classics - dedicated to recording female performers and composers - chose her to be the artist of their first release. Shelest shows her fire in these Romantic era works (and transcriptions) by Bach, Liszt, Schubert, Wagner and Schumann.
Joel Fan, piano
Fan's Official Website
Reference Records 134
ISBN# 0 30911 11342 1
The PR for this CD was - somewhat disconcertingly - called an "Anti Concerto" CD. For those of us - and that means for a LOT of our listeners - who love Piano Concertos in general... it gave us some pause. No need to pause, however, just go pick this one up! These are works for piano and orchestra, played magnificently. These are delightful works that are so often overlooked in the repertoire, only because they are not the big Concertos. Overdue, and very welcome, is this program of works filled with melody, many of them either titled dance, or created for dance. If this is a sample of the smaller works for piano and orchestra, please sir, may we have some more?!
Special thanks to our S.U. practicum, Taylor Goebel for pulling together the basic pix and details of this week's releases. Join us again on Friday starting at 1PM for more new releases, "Just Opened."
Kara Dahl Russell
Our time period of focus, 1000 - 1200 is so incredibly rich in social, political, religious and artistic growth, that even this extended series just scratches the surface. If you are interested in finding out more, we wanted to give you places to go. (And of course, we always encourage you to find out more at your local Public Library.)
I've actually been mulling this idea about for almost 2 years. The springboard idea for the series came from the BBC series (available on DVD) called"Civilization" written and hosted by Lord Kenneth Clark. The series is widely available online on DVD through many online retailers, and I think it is one of the best series ever made. His premise is that architecture, literature, art, and music combine to define periods of Civilzation. The 3rd episode, on Courtly Love, sparked the idea for this series, perhaps because he said he found the works of Cretienne de Troyes unreadable!
My main resource for this series was the DVD lecture series"The High Middle Ages" taught by Dr. Philip Daileader of William and Mary College. The depth, complexity, and amount of material in this series is monumental, and his coverage of it is magnificent, and includes many "reality checks" to help the viewer restructure the mindset to try to understand how things were viewed by people who lived during this time period. If you've been interested in my series, you'll find this course a great place to find out much, much more:
Resources by Topic
Andreas Capellanus, The Art of Courtly Love
William Farina, Chretien de Troyes and the Dawn of Arthurian Romance
Other Resources that covered a variety of topics
We continue our Just Opened celebration of Women's History month with many new releases by female artists, performers and composers, performing solo and in "concert" with others.
Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra
Kristjan Jarvi, cond.
Ross W. Duffin, cond.
Thanks again to our S.U. Practicum Taylor Goebel for her help pulling together the pictures and basic info. on the CDs to help you get more information on your favorites.
Kara Dahl Russell
Mary Queen of Scotts & Her World
Parthenia (consort of viols)
Ryland Angel, tenor & countertenor
Dongsok Shin, virginal
Parthenia's official website
ISBN# 6 81585 14902 7
Featured today as part of our series "Courtly Love and The Cult of The Virgin" was a new release by Parthenia, dedicated to Mary Queen of Scotts. We played the group of works from the Court of Queen Elizabeth I, songs and fancies. Pathenia have performed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and have a growing international reputation for their warmth of sound, musical excellence, ensemble playing, and illuminating performances of historic music. (Aired earlier today and this week, in connection with our after-the-news-at-noon series "Courtly Love and the Cult of the Virgin.")
London Symphony Orchestra
A wide variety of music today, Just Opened.
NEXT Friday, we begin our WSCL "Sounds of Spring" fundraiser... today we end the WSDL portion of the drive. It's easy to support the station online... just click the red button at the top right of the page....
Mozart: The Piano Sonatas
Luisa Guembes-Buchanan, piano
Guembes-Buchanan's Official Website
ISBN# 7 00587 95290 6 - 2 CD Set
Concert pianist, musicologist and educator, Luisa Guembes-Buchanan was born in Lima, Peru, where she received her early musical education at the Conservatorio Nacional de Música. Ms. Guembes-Buchanan holds degrees in Performance and Musicology from the Manhattan School of Music, C.W. Post College, New York University and Boston University. Her recordings demonstrate a particular fondness & scholarship of Beethoven. In addition to her numerous Master Classes, Ms. Guembes-Buchanan is a founding member of several teaching and performing organizations dedicated to promoting young performer's education and to facilitating performance opportunities for them. As a musicologist, she has lectured and participated in panel discussions in the United States and Latin America.
STRINGS IN SWINGTIME
New York Philharmonic Chamber Soloists
New York Philharmonic's Official Website
ISBN# 0 90404 94392 8
GIFT-GIVER'S DELIGHT. These chamber arrangements of popular favorite songs from the American Songbook make for easy listening in the best sense of the word. Magnificent, world class performers of the Philharmonic Chamber Soloists easily withstand attentive listening, just as well as the mix of well-known popular melodies makes for perfect backgound music for dinner parties.
Horn Music of Randall Faust
Andrew Pelletier, horn
Faust's Official Website
More info on Pelletier
ISBN# 6 81585 1168 2 1
New music for horn and keyboards. The variety of keyboards keeps this CD particularly fresh. All of the works by composer Randall Faust (b. 1947). He has been the recipient of the ASCAPlus Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers every year since 1990. He is known for his teaching and musicology of horn and brass. Hornist Andrew Pelletier is a grammy award winning soloist and chamber musician. Critics have said he is, "a soloist cabable of anything on his instrument."
RAMEAU - ZOROASTRE
Les Arts Florissants
William Christie, conductor
Arts-Florissants's Official Website
Erato 43182 - 3 CD Set
ISBN# 8 09274 31822 0
My Delight of the Week. A major release from 2002 of the complete opera "Zoroastre" by Rameau. We heard selections from the first act today in our 2 o'clock hour. Without the overt Masonic imagery of Mozart's "Magic Flute," this story incorporates some of the personages and ideas for a story of mythic proportions. A young love of two ernest people striving for righteousness and brotherhood, in a good-against-evil story where the young lady in question is kidnapped and taken to the underworld to be a blood sacrifice... This particular production uses double casting of the good and evil leader/priest which helps clarify the story (the good priest/father figure also plays the good Zoroastre; and the same doubling goes for the evil priest playing the gnome king). As with much french opera, dance music abounds... and lots of recitative as well... which can try the patience of some. Some of my favorite melodies can also be found here.
Special thanks to our S.U. practicum Taylor Goebel for pulling together the weblinks, pics, and basic info. to help you locate the music you like best. Join us next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
A lively combination of new works, traditional music, new takes on traditional works, and just plain musical fun - today on Just Opened!
CHÁVEZ: PIANO CONCERTO
Jorge Federico Osorio, piano
Osorio's Official Website
ISBN# 7 35131 91402 4
Osorio is a pianist familiar to our WSCL listeners. This release from 2013 features the rarely performed or recorded 1940 Piano Concerto of Carlos Chavez, a combination of percussion and abstract angles combined with folk-influenced melodies create an exciting soundworld. 3 smaller works for piano complete the program.
Mozart for Flute & Orchestra
Robert Stallman, flute
Robert Stallman's Official Website
BOGNER'S CAFÉ 106
ISBN# 7 00261 41641 0
My Delight of the Week! An ALL-MOZART program of works that feature flute, featuring the seasoned artistry of Robert Stallman. Katerina Englichova joins him for the Concerto for Harp and Flute, and Isabelle Chapuis matches him note for note on the Concertante for 2 Flutes and Orchestra. A new transcription of the Andante and Rondo from the Haffner Serenade completes this program that is everything you expect of great works for flute and orchestra, and Mozart.
Robert Benton, euphonium
Robert Benton's Official Website
ISBN# 6 70541 35918 1
Providing a wide range of music from a transcription of traditional Rossini, to a zippy work for varied vocals (reminiscent of Bobby McFerren) with euphonium, and a compelling, beautiful rendition of Arvo Part's "Mirror in Mirror"... this CD simultaneously shatters and exceeds your expectations of a Euphonium "recital" CD.
Amy Burton, soprano
Patrick Mason, baritone
John Musto, piano
John Musto's Official Website
ISBN# 0 90404 94302 7
Incredible pianist John Musto has been a regular on our WSCL playlists in his own compositions and others. Here he turns his talented fingers to the swingtime finger twisters of Gershwin, Loesser and other favorite composers of the American Songbook. Burton is a long time principal with the Met Opera, Mason trained at Peabody and is a frequently requested recording artist. A fun, showy collection of showtunes!
Special Thanks to Taylor Goebel, our S.U. Practicum, for pulling together the pics, links, and basic info. to help you find the CD you liked best, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell
Vivaldi, Beethoven, Hill and Sor. You may not know every name, but these composers today are essentially connected to the timeline of great composers!
AVI AVITAL: VIVALDI
Avi Avital, mandolin
Avital's Official Website
ISBN# 0 28947 94017 3
My Delight of the Week! Many "classical music" listeners remain on the fence regarding the place of the mandolin in serious concert music, but Avi Avital, through his combination of charisma, technical facility, and informed musical selections reminds us of the historic importance of the mandolin. In previous releases, his transcriptions of Bach works reminded us of Bach's use of the lute, and here we have it showcased as one of Vivaldi's favored instruments.
Matt Haimovitz, cello
Christopher O'Riley, piano
2 CD set
Haimovitz's Official Website
O'Riley's Official Website
PTC 5186 475
ISBN# 8 27949 04756 5
Complete Sonatas and Variations for Pianoforte and Violoncello recorded on period instruments. Two established performers have joined forces in this labor of love to perform works by one of the world's best loved Composers of all time. The range of Beethoven's work for cello and piano can be viewed as a microcosm of his compositional output, as they grew from Classical to pushing the established norms. The inclusion of the "lesser" but very accessible themes and variations helps give context to Beethoven's works for this instrumental combination and make it easy classical listening.
EDWARD BURLINGAME HILL:
Symphony No. 4
Peter Bay, conductor
More info on Bay
ISBN# 0 90404 94432 1
His name is now mostly forgotten, but he taught some of the biggest names in American Music: Virgil Thompson, Elliott Carter, Roger Sessions, Walter Piston, Randall Thompson and Leonard Bernstein. Hill studied in Paris with Carles Marie Widor, but along with many other composers of his day, Arthur Foote, Leo Sowerby, his works are largely passed over - as often happens with people at the end of a musical era. When they are rediscovered, however, it means that they are easy on the ear, as you will find with this collection of works for piano and orchestra by Hill.
The Guitar Works of Fernando Sor
Jeff Dwarshuis, guitar
Dwarshuis's Official Website
ISBN# 8 88295 19345 0
Gift-Giver's Delight! Guitar music is always one of the easiest ways to introduce people to "classical" music. In this case, it IS actually guitar music from the Classical era. Sor's works were/are foundational for the guitar's acceptance as a "legitimate" instrument. When Andre Segovia brought Sor's work back into the mainstream, we got to appreciate Sor's unique gift for embuing even pedogogical etudes with rich melodic content. Dwarshius generously donated several of his CDs to be thank you gifts for our listeners who supported us during our drive. His playing is clean and precise with musicality and warmth. This Cd is an easy way to introduce friends and family to classical music and help them realize that there is a world of music to become familiar with, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks again to our S.U. practicum Taylor Goebel for her help pulling together the web links, pictures and info. to help you find your favorite of today's new releases. Join us again next week for more new CDs, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
After pulling together today's program, I realized the unifying feature of today's Just Opened seems to be women in leadership, in music that is at least partially confrontational. Strong music by Strong women.
Our Just Opened program today strongly features women, up front, and in leadership positions of several groups. From the established virtuoso pianist, Anne-Marie McDermott, internationally renowned violinist and leader/founder of La Pieta, Angele Dubeau, to long term orchestral harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen, and a "brassy" new breakout artist, trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden.
Mary Elizabeth Bowden, trumpet
Bowden's Official Website
Summit DCD 655
ISBN# 0 99402 65592 5
Today's guest host for Just Opened, Tom Hehman, will be able to wax poetic about the skills of trumpeter Bowden. This CD is a mixed group of new works for trumpet and... (mostly piano, but a few trios). As with many current "recital CDs" many the works are frankly difficult to listen to, challenging in the sense of not only modern concert music, but - as we have a trumpet in the forefront - the kind of Dizzy Gillespe inspired jazz improvization that can feel... interminable. If you're a fan of that, you'll find even the most challenging works here a piece of cake. In contrast, there are the works by composer Joseph Turrin, which are melodic and highly accessible, what some would call "modern classical." We closed the program today with a fascinating new work called "Totem Voices" in which each movement represents one of the animal/spirits on a totem pole, it is the best of both worlds, exploratory, intellectually engaging, and tuneful.
Noah Bendix-Balgley, violin
Gretchen Van Hoesen, harp
Anne Martindale Williams, cello
Bendix-Balgley's Official Website
More info on Van Hoesen
More info on Williams
ISBN# 7 00261 40684 8
As with a piano trio, where the piano is both the foundation and often the leader of the trio, this position is often fullfilled by the upright "keyboard" instrument, the harp. On this CD, this parallel is probably most obvious in the opening Haydn work, where the harps plays the part that is most often heard played on piano. The major work on this CD is Henriette Renie's Symphonic Trio which is a major chamber work by any standard. The program on this CD adds a splash of color with Reynaldo Hahn's art song "A Chloris" with the violin taking the vocal line, and closes with the spice of a closing piece by Carlos Gardel.
Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann
Alexander Beridze, piano
Beridze's Official Website
ISBN# 8 88295 19046 6
Georgian pianist Beridze has performed at Carnegie Hall, and been hailed as an "exceptional artist" by American Record Guide, and won the 2009 Cincinnati World Piano Competition. He has a touring schedule, and regular recital program "packages." This CD represents the majority of his recital program No. 1, and gives an opportunity to those of us who can not travel around to the great halls of the world to hear his polished performances of these accessible and beloved great piano showpieces.
LUDOVICO EINAUDI: PORTRAIT
Angele Dubeau, violin
Dubeau's Official Website
More info on La Pieta
Analekta 2 8738
ISBN# 7 74204 87382 0
Angele Dubeau and her (all female chamber ensemble) La Pieta have an impressive body of recordings, from very traditional to a very focused attention to contemporary works and composers. Notably, a few years ago, they released a CD of recordings of "game music" arranged for chamber orchestra - highlighting the rich beauty and evocative nature of much of this game music. Einaudi's has composed music for many modern films, with a sound world that is both "classically trained" and infused with a sense of pop, rock, and modern musical forms. Film music, especially that of today, has a "waiting" quality. That is, of course, essential to music for film... it has to fill an emotional mood with a certain consistency to provide an emotional background, and then POP or FIZZ or swing to an extreme emotional change in connection with the screen image and action. Unlike the lush film scores of the 1940s, for the most part today, this means music that is quiet and repetitive or tensely brooding. Being a full CD of the works of one composer gives the program a continuity that will be boring for some, and for others, uniquely fullfilling.
Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
with Scott Yoo conducting
Odense Symphony Orchestra
McDermott's Official Website
BRIDGE 9438 - 2CD set
ISBN# 0 90404 94382 9
My Delight of the Week! & Gift Giver's Delight! Established, critically acclaimed, internationally recognized and classically oriented could all be said of McDermott. While she has performed & recorded the works of Prokofiev and Scriabin, she seems to have a particular affinity and affection for the Classical era. To her previous recordings of Mozart she now adds a 2 CD set of Haydn sonatas, each CD culminating in one of his Piano Concertos. This CD provides so much of what many classical listeners yearn for. Mature, literate, polished performances of not only great solo piano repertoire, but the increasingly difficult to find orchestral releases of traditional Classical era works. McDermott performs over 100 concerts a year around the world, and has been a working respected professional for over 25 years. A marvelous addition to any concert library.
Thanks again to our S.U. practicum, Taylor Goebel, for pulling together the pics, links, and basic info. on today's CDs. Join us again next week as we open up new releases, and releases new to our library, on Just Opened, each Friday from 1PM to 4PM on WSCL 89.5FM.
Kara Dahl Russell
From the familiar, beloved orchestral works of Bizet to challenging new orchestral works by modern Canadian composers, from new works for quitar quartet and new eastern themed works for solo piano, to well known piano repertoire of Liszt and Beethoven, and a major choral work by Buxtehude - we're covering all the musical bases today in new releases, and releases new to us - Just Opened!
Martin West, Cond.
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
San Francisco Ballet website
Reference Recordings 131
ISBN # 0 30911 11312 4
Gift-Giver's Delight! West conducts a welcome bouquet of orchestra works by Bizet in this melodic, accessible CD. In a recording that has been hailed for the separation of sound, balance, and depth, and a performance lauded as the highest quality, we have a new, full orchestration of the delightful work originally composed for piano 4 hands "Jeux D'Enfants (Children's Games)", and a first recording of Bizet's more adventuresome "Variations Chromatique." West filled the shoes of a much loved and admired conductor and has maintained the expressive qualities of this orchestra with whimsy and lightness for which it has been so admired, and for which these pieces are a great showpiece. This CD is bound to be an unusual and very welcome addition to any collection.
CANADIAN CONCERTO PROJECT: VOL. 1
Nadina Mackie Jackson, bassoon
Guy Few, trumpet
Eric Paetkau, conductor
Jackson's Official Website
Paetkau's Official Website
ISBN# 6 81585 14802 0
New works for orchestra and chamber groups by Canadian composers Michael Occhipinti, Glenn Buhr and Mathieu Lussier. Lussier is all ready well known to our audiences through other CD works with Nadina Mackie Jackson and Guy Few, and we featured his works from this CD today. No need to be afraid of these new, modern works - one or two of the works here are a challenge, but brief, and most are pleasantly surprising and highly listenable.
EAST WEST ENCOUNTER 1
Susan Chan, piano
Chan's Official Website
ISBN# 6 81585 12452 9
Chan is known for her committment to the works of female composers, as well as the kind of juxtaposition and interplay of Eastern and western works that is found on this CD, and very compelling. She regularly gives masterclasses and performs regularly around the world. She opens the program with two Eastern (or Eastern inspired) works. Louie's "Scenes from a Jade Garden" are a display of force and ingenuity, and today we heard the movement "Warrior" before a Sonata of Beethoven. I think this pairing from the CD shows off both works well, esp. as Beethoven is known for his use of forceful expression of the percussion aspect of the piano.
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
LAGQ's Official Website
ISBN# 6 16892 27644 9
New Composers provide new takes on traditional works, and new works inspired by traditional works, for the beloved Los Angeles Quitar Quartet, in this aptly named "New Renaissance." This particular CD revisits the traditional ground of renaissance music with the cross-over approach of new techniques and improvisational additions. This is the "edge" of new music that is completely accessible to a variety of music listeners, due in part to the delicious blend of the always popular guitars that form this group, as well as their musical selections and sterling musicianship.
Membra Jesu Nostri
Duke Vespers Ensemble
Brian Schmidt, conductor
More info on the Ensemble
Schmidt's Official Website
ISBN# 6 81585 15302 4
My Delight of the Week! Buxtehude's major work of "The Passion" is the sole focus and offering of this CD, "The most holy limbs of our suffering Jesus" a series of 7 Cantatas. Each cantata movement of this work is dedicated to a particular "limb" of the body of Christ. The latin text is said to have come from a Medieval Hymn and the old Testament. This is a lovely performance combining period instruments and a finely tuned and balanced vocal ensemble with exquisite restraint.
Thanks again to our S.U. practicum Taylor Goebel for pulling together the pictures, links and info. on today's new releases. Join us again next Friday for more new releases, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell
Today we take a look at the music of Bartok from Various perspectives, orchestral, chamber, and in a turn-about return to his folk roots, a rag tag collection of his works re-interpreted on banjo and folk band. As always, we have an accomplished solo piano release, and another of a soprano who has worked closely with new composer Chris Broom focusing on his works in conjunction with great modern Italian film composers.
The Music of Bela Bartok
Jake Schepps, Banjo (with band)
MIGHTY FINE RECORDS 1003
ISBN# 7 00261 32636 8
Website for Schepps
I believe that we are living through the construction and growth of a new musical genre, which I think is best called "Concert Folk." Traditional folk instruments played with skill and seriousness, in works that attempt to display both the virtuosity of the performers and the ability of the instrument to handle "legitimate" repertoire. Schepps (taking his cue from Bela Fleck) is conscientiously working this vein. In a very smart "about face," he takes the music of Bela Bartok back to it's roots in folk music, giving it back to trational folk instruments and arrangements. The essential element of the discussion becomes esoteric: is folk music played on on folk instruments with a distinctly folk sound suddenly now NOT folk music, but "classical"? I personally think it is a divide that is inseparable, for the same reason that historic traditional world music is not "classical." It can be virtuosic, it can be great artistry, but the instrumentation itself defines it as something separate. "Classical" and "folk" music have evolved at least in part by the development of instruments that have a particular sound, and that specific sound is an essential element of the musical style. I think it is time we seriously reconsider our class structure of some music as good and other music as "lesser" - virtuosos exists in all genres - but being equal arts still does not make them the same thing. Folk music has influenced great composers, but their works are distinct in form, structure and instrumentation. You can take the banjo out of the country-folk bar, but can you take the country-folk bar out of the banjo? Taking the music back to folk instruments and musical interpretation - in my opinion - makes it what it was in the first place, still of historic importance, still musically appealing, but no longer "classical" concert music. Schepp's CDs could be an interesting introduction to the works of Bela Bartok for audiences who would never enter a traditional concert hall.
Michael Stern, cond.
Kansas City Symphony
REFERENCE RECORDS 132
ISBN# 0 30911 11322 3
Official website of Kansas City Symphony
My Delight of the Week! Take 3 composers known for work that can be challenging and dissonant. Take one of the most melodic and accessible works by each composer, put them in one program, and you have a program that is smart, enjoyable, and that makes people think, and remember that each of these composers can be accessible, and is worth getting to know, worth exploring. In some sense, every music performer, every orchestra has to have music education in mind while programming, because "classical" music is becoming increasingly walled-off and marginalized. Programs like this are a great re-introduction to composers who can often feel intimidating and rarified even to many concert goers. This kind of programming is what shows a Symphony (and Music Director) to be thoughtful and educational in their programming, it "bumps up the game."
Ras Vitkauskaite, piano
ONGAKU RECORDS 024-124
ISBN# 7 62738 01242 6
Official Website for Reflections
Award winning Lithuanian pianist Vitkauskaite joins our playlists again. We have recently added two of her CD collaborations with clarinetist Jonathan Cohler, here we have her solo debut CD, which was the Cover Feature CD of Fanfare Magazine last December. They "enthusiastically recommended" this CD. American Record Guide hailed her for "subtle musicianship and exceptional skill" in what others called an" intelligently programmed and beautifully realized recorded debut." The program balances better known works and composers with Liebermann's surprisingly melodic (and conceptually mesmerizing) "Gargoyles." Thoughtful, entertaining and accessible.
Sonatas for Violin & Piano
Jade Duo: Shuai Shi, violin, and
Zhen Chen, piano
ISBN# 6 81585 15102 0
Website and Info. for The Jade Duo
Individually accomplished and regarded instrumentalists, Shi & Chen formed "Jade Duo" in 2012 under the tutelage of Dr.Heasook Rhee, Pinchas Zukerman and Peter Winograd. The Jade Duo won the first prize in the 2013 Artur Balsam Competition for Duos in New York and the second prize of the 2013 J.C.Arriaga Chamber Music Competition in Stamford, Connecticut. This is their first CD, on which their recording of the Faure has been called better than the version by Joshua Bell with Jean-Yves Thibaudet! Clearly these artists are worth getting to know, and remembering.
Official Webstie of Paonessa
Paonessa's recital CD finds her in that "cusp of fame" position which is always exciting and fascinating. She is sceduled to sing the role of "Annina" in La Traviata this year in Oshawa Opera's production, is involved in CBC's Searchlight talent competition (for Canadian talent). Here she has paired with modern composer Chris Broom to sing many of his arias, sung along with memorable and well-loved works of film composers Rota and Morricone. Her website is remarkably free of biographical information, throwing the focus entirely on this new release.
Join us next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
Our Just Opened mix today includes a major symphony dedicated to the Romantic era, trios from Romantic era composers, late Romantic era cello works on the border of modernism, and timeless traditional folk works from the American South for piano, and a modern choral composer's work with a "timeless" sound intention.
Symphony No. 4 "Romantic"
Manfred Honeck, Dir.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orch.
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 713
ISBN# 0 30911 27132 9
We shared this marvelous new performance of this melodic full symphony.
Greg McCallum, piano
McCallum's Official Website
ISBN# 6 81585 10922 9
Traditional Southern songs and melodies in beautiful piano transcriptions.
SAINT-SAENS, LALO, FAURE
Kim Cook, violoncello
More info on Kim Cook
ISBN# 6 81585 15122 8
Lalo is best known for his "Symphony Espagnole" - basically a violin concerto. Here we have a beautiful presentation of his rarely heard cello concerto, set alongside Saint Saens concreto and a moving elegy by Faure.
KLUGHART & KAHN:
Romantic Trios for Oboe, Viola and Piano
Ensemble's Official Website
ISBN# 6 81585 14232 5
My Delight of the Week. Romantic era trios with this unusual combination of instruments make this accessible and unique.
Michael John Trotta, composer
Trotta's Official Website
ISBN# 8 45121 07985 2
New Choral works by a modern composer. Very much in the meditative vein, if you enjoy the works of John Rutter and Eric Whittaker, this are an easy pick for your CD collection.
Thank you for joining us as we open up new releases and releases new to us each Friday on "Just Opened."
Kara Dahl Russell
Today our musical selections explore Baroque music, the drama of operatic melodies, and Temestuous Shakespearean passion ... music from the Baroque and Romantic eras.
Sullivan & Sibelius
Michael Stern, cond.
Kansas City Symphony
REFERENCE RECORDS 115
ISBN# 0 30911 11152 6
Best known for his work with Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan wrote many things on his own, but they are greatly overshadowed by his successful partnership. His settings of Shakespeare songs are often included in anthologies, and here is his rarely heard music for The Tempest. For comparison, we also have Sibelius's Suites for performances of the Tempest as well. "Coupling these two works... was a brilliant idea--a "concept" album that really makes good musical sense. Happily...the performances are as smart, atmospheric, and vibrant as the music itself...and they're stunningly recorded..." --David Hurwitz, Classics Today
Eugenia Moliner, flute
Denis Azabagic, guitar
ISBN# 0 90404 94482 6
My Delight of the Week. In the Romantic era, there was a steady market of arrangements of opera melodies into medlies, themes and variations, and fantasies. Their critical raves are numberous, in countless major music magazines... see their website to see the flow of rave reviews. The Cavatina Duo brings us a full serving of these bon bons and favorites, and the combination of quitar and flute have such easy relate-ability that listeners of many genres will enjoy this CD.
(Not the CD cover, this Photo shows Trio Solisti, pianist Neiman and violinist Bachmann are featured on today's CD. We were unable to get a picture of today's CD cover.)
Faure & Saint Saens
AEOLIAN CLASSICS 0001
ISBN# 6 87077 95293 9
Individually and together, the musicians on this CD have achieved international recognition and high critical acclaim.
Jacques Champion de Chambonnieres
Karen Flint, harpsichord
2 CD Set
ISBN# 8 88295 26087 9
Brandywine Baroque & Plectra Home Page
Highly esteemed harpsichordist Karen Flint continues to add to her exploration of great French keyboard composers.
FLIGHT OF ANGELS
Harry Christophers & The Sixteen
ISBN# 8 28021 61282 4
Exquisite choral works performed beautifully have long been a part of our musical selections on WSCL. Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have been audience favorties for years. This is their most recent release of works from Spain in the 1500s.
Join us again next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
Today we have a focus on Richard Strauss and Sergei Rachmaninov, but we also explore an inventive new CD of JSBach's works played on mandolin and mandocello, and tenor Julian Pregardien chimes in.
Concertos 2 & 3
Stewart Goodyear, piano
Czech National Symphony
Heiko Mathias Forster, cond.
STEINWAY & SONS 30047
ISBN# 0 34062 30047 1
Steinway & Sons website
Canadian pianist Goodyear has been hailed as "a phenomenon who deserves wide attention" (Los Angeles Times) and adds these 2 well-loved concertos to his previous recordings of Tchaikovsky and Grieg. This particular performance said to uncover the works from years of standard performance practice and a recording that highlight's Rachmaninov's use of orchestral coloring. This CD gives us two basic, foundational pieces for any music library, with a rising young performer.
Strauss: Don Juan
Eiji Oue, cond.
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 907
ISBN# 0 30911 19072 9
CD available on this webpage
This CD marks Minnesota Orchestra's first release of Richard Strauss's Don Juan, and also features Ravel's "Alborada del Gracioso", Sibelius'"Finlandia" and Liadov's "Baba Yaga." With excerpts from many popular orchestral standards, one song from Mahler's "Songs of the Earth" and Taylor's "Looking Glass Insects" it is a varied an enjoyable program.
Mike Marshall, mandocello
Caterina Lichtenberg, mandolin
ADVENTURES MUSIC 10942
ISBN# 8 23421 10942 4
Grammy nominated cross-over musician Mike Marshall and multiple award-winning guitar/mandolinist Lichtenberg join forces in this CD to present Bach's 2 part inventions on mandolin and mandocello. The 1700s was the first golden age of the mandolin, so this idea has historic veracity and transports us back to the way Bach's music may have been played in his day outside the church walls. Lichtenberg is the only Professor of classical mandolin currently in the world - at the Cologne, Germany music Conservatory. These inventions have been called "intense musical landscapes" and this pairing gives us a new perspective on these well known seminal works.
Ken Watson, oboe & arranger
Double Reed Quartet
ISBN# 7 00261 41921 3
Watson's website for purchasing info. & links
My Delight of the Week! Ken Watson's biography is worth reading for it's depth and complexity... just fascinating. Having been a member of "The President's Own" (and several of the other musicians on this CD either were or are currently part of that group) he decided to switch from musician to active duty... and has since worked in network security. Such is the life of a musician! Now able to focus more fully on music, he is particularly devoted to fostering knowledge and appreciation for double reed instruments. With the lyricism of Mendelssohn, the appeal of Gershwin, and the lush melodies of Still, I'd say this is a great start!
An Die Gelibte
with Christoph Schnackertz, piano
MYRIOS CLASSICS #012
ISBN# 4 260183 51012 3
Son of renowned lyric tenor Christoph Pregardien, Julian has been called a "major discovery" and is performing internationally in opera, concerts, and - as here - performing lied. In what he calls his "own very personal circle of songs" he sings works of Beethoven, von Weber, Richard Strauss and Wolf.
Join us again next Friday for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
From Rameau to Mozart to Dvorak to Janacek - Baroque to Modern, and adding new works for guitar from a living composer... we bring you basics from every time period1
Pieces de Clavcin en Concert
Ensemble Baroque Nouveau
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 118
ISBN #0 30911 11182 3
Review and more info.
A rare recording of Rameau by an American ensemble. Due to Rameau's re-use of melodies from his keyboard works into chamber works, they always have a familiar feeling, and this recording maintains the crispness of the solo works in a small chamber group of early instruments. Each member of this ensemble is highly accomplished, their combined resumes amount to a "who's who" and a "what's what" of Early Music.
Sonia Rubinsky, piano
Virginia Luque, cond.
Moravian Philharmonic Olomuc
IBERIA PRODUCTIONS 001
ISBN# 7 80742 21913 6
My Delight of the Week! Incredibly talented guitarist/conductor Virginia Luque leads the Moravian Philharmonic in two delicious Mozart works, a Symphony and a Piano Concerto featuring Sonia Rubinsky.
JANACEK - Jenufa Suite
Manfred Honeck, Dir.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 710
ISBN# 0 30911 27102 2
To purchase CD from Pittsburgh Symphony site.
Alan Rinehart, guitar
ISBN# 6 28855 00274 3
A pleasing combination of a few new works for solo guitar, along with many beloved traditional favorites from this established mature artist known as a teacher and music editor in addition to being a performer. Rinehart has been recognized and performed at guitar festivals internationally in addition to studying lute in England. The works on this CD are chosen to demonstrate the intimate, personal side of the guitar, and is dedicated to his wife.
Join us again next Friday for more new releases, Just Opened!
Kara Dahl Russell
This week on Just Opened, we have the newly released Broadway Cast Recording of "The King And I" - which just won the Tony Award last weekend for Best Musical Revival. This new CD just arrived in stores on Tuesday, and it will fill our 3PM hour closing out today's show.
Another big winner of the night was the play "The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Nighttime" and it's young lead actor, Alex Sharp (one year out of Julliard, but playing a 15 year old), so today we have a musical mirror... a Chopin release from 20 year old Jan Lisiecki who won a major piano competition at 14... winning from the junior division over the competitors in the senior division! That "Curious" play also features a strong ensemble cast that pull a lot of duties -- just like the members of the incredibly fun Quartetto Gellato, and we have their new CD today, too. A new release of Saint Saen's beloved "King of Instruments" Symphony rounds things out!
THE KING AND I
2015 Broadway Cast Recording
Kelly O'Hara & Ken Watanabe
DECCA BROADWAY 23370
ISBN# 6 02547 37204 8
Winner of the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival, it unites a long time Broadway star (O'Hara) with the major international heart-throb, Ken Watanabe in a production that remains faithful to the original, but is aware of modern sensibilities. With the world-wide awareness of the place of women in many cultures, this classic remains startlingly relevant.
Jan Lisiecki, piano
D.G. 479 10399
ISBN # 0 28947 91039 -
Young piano phenomenon Jan Lisiecki was the focus of our weekend program "Collector's Corner" this past weekend. His combination of natural talent and focused work is making him a major international concert draw as he turns 20 this year! He plays the two etude opi with authority and nuance. This is a great way to add basics to your music library, and also add a young performer who is clearly going to be a household name.
QGPI RECORDS #010
ISBN# 0 61297 45489 1
Multitalented, delightful, engaging musical performers, Quartetto Gelato have been part of our playlists for many years. Their distinct sound is due largely to their replacement of the expected piano with the astonishing accordian playing of Alexander Sevastian. Don't be put off by the fact that the works on this CD are all orignal. QG are performers who know what an audience wants, and these new works are engaging, melodic, and easy to listen to again and again. This is a chamber group that can take traditional concert works and make them relevant, fun, and exciting to listeners who say "I don't like "classical" music." QG are proof that great music (and great musicians) are alive and well.
Symphony No. 3 "Organ"
Michael Stern, cond.
Kansas City Symphony
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 136
ISBN# 0 30911 11362 9
My Delight of the Week! This perennial favorite work (with the closing movement hymn theme that was so movingly used in the film "Babe") features organist Jan Kraybill on "The King of Instruments." The Symphony is the big finale on a program which begins with the logical opening work "Introduction and Capriccioso" which features violinist Noah Geller, and then cellist Mark Gibbs joins Geller for "La Muse et le Poete". Poetry and power all from one Composer. I especially like the way these selections allow different instruments to shine within the basis of an "orchestral wash." This particular program presents an orchestral microcosm of why Camille Saint-Saens remains a major composer of beloved works.
Join us again next week, for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
Our usual varied sound stage of music today on Just Opened: Orchestral Ballet Suites by Delibes, violin & piano "recital" CDs, Bach works for organ, and Tempesta di Mare's new release of Baroque "Theatrical" music.
Orchestral Music for the Theatre
by Lully, Marais, Rebel
Tempesta di Mare (Philadelphia Baroque Orchestra)
ISBN# 0 95115 08052 8
My Delight of the Week! Tempesta di Mare gets rave reviews internationally for their musicianship and audience pleasing programming. In this the first of 2 CDs devoted to Baroque works for the theatre they have 3 "suites."
Organ works, vol. 1
Todd Fickley, Schnitger Organ
ISBN# 6 81585 15612 4
A Classical Music collection can not find anything much more foundational than works for organ by J.S. Bach. Fickley began his studies as a child at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. and completed his studies with High Distinction in organ performance from the Universtiy of Wales. Todd is a speaker, performer and conductor, including performances of the complete Bach cycle of organ works represented here. He holds multiple conductor and organist positions, including the Choral Society back where he began, at the National Cathedral.
with Keunyoung Sun, piano
ISBN# 8 88295 17308 7
A varied recital CD from the internationally performing violinist who studied at Juliard and Yale School of Music. He has been hailed for brilliant technique and poetry. I would suggest a good listen to selections from this CD before purchase... the recording sounds as if it were recorded live, and has the "open" sound that can create. Those who are sound quality purists might find that too distracting.
Sylvia / Coppelia
Martin West, cond.
San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 125
ISBN# 0 30911 11252 3
The infectious, enchanting ballet music from Leo Delibes 2 most popular and famous Ballets. These "Suite" reductions of the complete ballets include all the stirring, rousing, lyrical, sweet, memorable melodies from these great scores. A perfect gift for the lover of great music whose collection has it all! Highly listenable time and again.
Jean-Baptiste Muller, piano
JBM # 40665
No ISBN# available
Muller's official website
Schumann's major piano cycle "Kreisleriana" is featured on this CD, along with Chopin's Sonata No. 3. The picture at left is for a DVD which features more works in addition, but the CD photo is a different cropping of this same picture. Click on link to Muller's website for purchase and more information on this artist. This Swiss pianist has won competition awards in Germany, Italy and France.
Join us again next week for more new releases, Just Opened.
Kara Dahl Russell
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A high energy, brassy sassy mashup of the Gershwin songbook won the Tony Award for best orchestration this year, and the production won 3 other technical awards, and that kickstarted our music today on Just Opened. The rarely performed, and much less rarely recorded etudes of (salon era favorite) Moszkowski are a sparkling highlight, with the luscious clarinet "songs" performed by Seunghee Lee and a true chamber mix performance headed by guitarist Marc Regnier.
Original Broadway Cast Recording
Winner of 4 Tony Awards, including Orchestrations
MASTERWORKS BROADWAY 09114
ISBN# 8 8875 091142 1
Playbill site for CD, reviews and more
A musical based somewhat on the beloved film "An American In Paris" that was based on the orchestral work by George Gershwin. Broadway musicals reflect what is going on in commercial music, and the mash- up scene leaves it's mark in an inventive score that includes beloved songs with bits and pieces of other beloved songs from the Gershwin songbook. As much of the story is set in a nightclub, the orchestrations have the brassy, jazzy feel of film noir club scenes. The show has a lot going on - the story being told over the music at times, a stage full of characters, and the music reflects this mix in ways that are very fresh for a story and setting of the 1940s.
Esther Budiardjo, piano
ISBN# 7 81988 00362 6
For more information
My Delight of the Week! It is rare to hear the etudes of Moritz Moszkowski played at all, much less played with excellence, and here we have the complete Book 1 & Book 2. Known best for his popular salon works, many of the Book 2 works stand alone as lovely evocative pieces. Brahm's Hungarian Dances start off the program of wide ranging emotion, exquisite technique and lush salon-era lyricism.
Seunghee Lee, clarinet
Arlene Schrut, piano
SUMMIT RECORDS 276
ISBN# 0 99402 27692 2
Speaking of lush - the buttery "vocals" of Lee's clarinet leave us breathless for more. This CD features engaging works of enduring popularity. Fantasies on Verdi's operatic themes topped sales charts in the Romantic era, and they have remained favorites, and here they are simply excellent. While these fantasies were "pop" works, they are showpieces of technique and color. The major work on the CD is Schubert's "Sonata Arpeggione," and the program is rounded out with favorites by Elgar and Rachmaninoff.
Solo and Chamber works
Marc Regnier, guitar
REFERENCE RECORDINGS 714
ISBN# 0 30911 17142 1
Regnier's official site
Gift-Giver's Delight! This CD plays like a truly collaborative Chamber performance, led by Grammy nominated, Peabody Conservatory grad. Regnier. The 4 artists on this CD take turns in solo works and a variety of pairings of accessible works, mostly with a latin rhythm - composers like Assad, Villa-Lobos, Almeida, Powell, and more. This CD was on air when our on-air host volunteer walked in, and he immediately said, "Isn't this wonderful!" We know that not everyone on our gift lists love classical music... and CDs like this make it easy to introduce "non-classical" folks to great works of international composers in melodic, toe-tapping cross-over pieces.
Join us next week for more new releases, Just Opened, and
Thank you for your financial support of Delmarva Public Radio!
Kara Dahl Russell